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McEwen community pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

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Max Davies
Max Davies
Max is a journalist for the North Central Review. He joined the paper as a cadet journalist in 2021 and graduated from La Trobe University in 2023. He takes a keen interest in motorsport and the automotive industry.

By Max Davies

Parliamentarians, schools, organisations and community members have paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, who died on Friday at the age of 96.

The Queen’s son, formerly known as the Prince of Wales, was officially proclaimed King Charles III on Saturday, making him the ruling monarch of the Commonwealth, including Australia.

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The Queen visited Australia 16 times during her 70-year rule, taking part in events including opening sittings of Parliament in 1954, 1974 and 1977, as well as opening the new Parliament House on May 9, 1988.

She was said to have had a good relationship with Australia, speaking optimistically about the country and its people on her many visits.

Member for McEwen Rob Mitchell reflected on his experiences of the monarch, describing her death as a ‘surreal moment in time’.

“She’s been such a constant in all our lives, whether you follow the royals or not, she’s someone who ruled with poise and dignity that we may not see again,” he said.

“It’s a surreal moment in time because she was always there for as long as I can remember, even when I was a kid she was there, she was the Queen.”

Mr Mitchell said he had the opportunity to have lunch with Queen Elizabeth II and described it as a memorable time.

“She was elegant and widely renowned as being quite charming,” he said.

“Certainly listening to her speak, she was very polite. Anyone who had a conversation of any length with her said she had a good sense of humour.”

A condolence book has been placed at Mr Mitchell’s Wallan office, with members of the community invited to visit and sign the book before it is given to the Governor General to be delivered to Buckingham Palace.

St Patrick’s Primary School Kilmore was also one of many schools and organisations to pay tribute to the Queen, flying its school flags at half-mast every day this week and display a portrait in the main foyer as a sign of respect for the Head of State.

Mitchell Shire Council is also flying its flags at half-mast as a sign of respect during the mourning period.

The Australian Parliament will make up at a later date the four sitting days that were lost due to the suspension of Parliament following the Queen’s death.

The Victorian Parliament will adjourn for one week as a mark of respect following the Queen’s death.

Both Houses of Parliament will sit today, Tuesday, so that members of the assembly and council can be sworn in.

Members of both houses will return on Tuesday, September 20, which will be used for a motion of condolence for Queen Elizabeth II.

Parliament will return as normal on September 21 and 22, with valedictory speeches being given by retiring members.

Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell said all Victorians and people throughout the world were mourning the passing of the Queen.

“The Queen was always the epitome of grace and duty, serving her subjects for an extraordinary seven decades,” she said.

“The Queen was a remarkable woman, who was held in the highest esteem by all Australians. I wish to express my deep sadness at Her Majesty’s passing and send my sincerest condolences to His Majesty King Charles III and the Royal family.”

The Queen’s state funeral will be at Westminster Abbey in London, at 11am, UK time, on September 19 – it will be broadcast live in Australia at 8pm Monday.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese declared a one-off nationwide public holiday on Thursday, September 22, as a national day of mourning for the Queen.

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